Baz Luhrmann just revealed the first four cast members of his 13 episode dramatic series The Get Down. The music-driven series will air on Netflix in 2016, with Luhrmann serving as executive producer and directing three episodes (including the finale). The first cast members to be announced are TJ Brown, Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, and Skylan Brooks.
“The characters these young actors play in The Get Down unwittingly become a band of brothers. Any great group is always made up of distinctly different characters, and the actors we are privileged enough to invite into the roles of Ezekiel, Shaolin Fantastic, Boo-Boo and Ra-Ra all have the distinction of being from such diverse backgrounds — from performing in subways in the Bronx to the music scene of Atlanta and of course Los Angeles,” said Luhrmann, announcing the first four male leads. “I know they’re collectively on the beginning of a thrilling journey with a big story to tell.”
The Get Down will focus on 1970s New York City – broken down and beaten up, violent, cash strapped — dying. Consigned to rubble, a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them – except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans. From Bronx tenements, to the SoHo art scene; from CBGBs to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, The Get Down is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world…forever.
Unveiling the names of The Get Down cast, Luhrmann and Netflix also provided details on the actors and characters they’ll be playing:
– TJ BROWN is “Boo-Boo,” a mechanically-minded kid who wants to get down, he is an irrepressible 40-year old in a 14-year old body.
14 years old, TJ lives in the Bronx, NY. An aspiring rapper and dancer, TJ hones his craft by performing in the NYC subway, where he was discovered by The Get Down’s casting team.
– JUSTICE SMITH is “Ezekiel,” a smart, resourceful teen brimming with untapped talent and unrequited love who is determined to make his mark in this world.
19 years old, born & raised in Anaheim, CA, Justice is one of the stars of Paper Towns, which will be released by Fox 2000 this June.
– SHAMEIK MOORE is “Shaolin Fantastic,” a child of the streets, thrill-seeking, unpredictable, eccentric but above all, enigmatic.
19 years old, born & raised in Atlanta, GA, Shameik is the star of the 2015 Sundance hit Dope, and was named by Indiewire as one of the ’12 Major Breakouts’ of the festival.
– SKYLAN BROOKS is “Ra-Ra,” a loyal, respected, protective friend and brother with his head screwed on tight, he’s the voice of reason beyond his years.
16 years old, born & raised in Los Angeles, CA, Skylan is the star of the film The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete, for which he was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film. He will next be seen opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams in Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw.
-By Rebecca Murray
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